THE THEATRE ORGAN

Robert Hope-JonesRobert Hope-Jones (1859-1914) Father of The Theatre Organ

Here, the organist, Terry Hepworth, talks about Robert Hope Jones and also describes some of the components of the Theatre Organ.

This clip is taken from This is England – The Mighty Wurlitzer

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THE THEATRE ORGAN HOME PAGE

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GLOSSARY

This section is included to help those readers not familiar with the numerous names and terms used with regard to the Theatre Organ.  Should any reader find a definition incorrect or an explanation unclear or if you wish to recommend a term not included here, please contact me via the COMMENTS at the end of this section.

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THE PIPE ORGAN

THE THEATRE ORGAN 

ROBERT HOPE-JONES

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PART TWO:

BUILDERS OF THE THEATRE ORGAN

This section includes a discussion of
THE WURLITZER,
THE CHRISTIE,
THE COMPTON,
THE CONACHER THEATRE ORGAN
and
a special section where
THE THEATRE ORGANS OF BLACKPOOL
are disscused.

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PAGES ONE TO THIRTEEN:

THE WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN

In these pages, a number of Wulitzer Theatre Organs
that were installed in British & European Cinemas
are presented together with their history.

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PAGE ONEINTRODUCTION & THE BUILDER OF THE MIGHTY WURLITZER

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PAGE TWOBRINGING THE MIGHTY WURLITZER TO THE U.K.

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PAGE THREEDECORATION OF THE WURLITZER ORGAN CONSOLE

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PAGE FOURWURLITZER ORGANS IN SCOTLAND

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PAGE FIVEWURLITZER ORGANS IN THE NETHERLANDS

THE TUSCHINSKI THEATER & ITS ORGAN

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PAGE SIXWURLITZER ORGANS IN FRANCE

(also see THE CHRISTIE THEATRE ORGAN pages)

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PAGE SEVENTHE FIRST WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN BUILT SPECIFICALLY FOR EXPORT TO THE U.K. – FROM WALSALL TO BEER, DEVON

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PAGE EIGHTCONTINUING TO EXPORT WURLITZER ORGANS TO THE UK  BRITAIN’S SECOND WURLITZER ORGAN

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PAGE NINEIMPORTING THE WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN TO
THE NEW GALLERY CENTRAL HALL

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PAGE TENIMPORTING THE U.K.’S FIRST 4-MANUAL WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN (at the Empire Leicester Square)

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PAGE ELEVENTHE WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN OF THE FORMER EMPIRE CINEMA LEICESTER SQUARE NOW INSTALLED AT THE HOME OF
MR. LEN RAWLE

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PAGE TWELVEEXPORTING EUROPE’S LARGEST WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN TO THE U.K. (at the Trocadero Super Cinema Elephant & Castle)

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PAGE THIRTEENTHE WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN OF
THE GRANADA THEATRE TOOTING

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PAGE FOURTEENTHE WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN OF
THE STAGE KILBURN

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PAGE FIFTEENTHE WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN OF
THE REX STRAFFORD

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PAGE SIXTEENTHE QUEEN – THE WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN OF
THE  PARAMOUNT-ODEON THEATRE MANCHESTER

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PAGE SEVENTEENTHE ISLE OF MAN WURLITZER THEATRE ORGAN 

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PAGES EIGHTEEN TO TWENTY-SIX:

THE CHRISTIE THEATRE ORGAN

In these pages, a number of Christie Theatre Organs
that were installed in British, European & Australian Cinemas
are presented together with their history.

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PAGE EIGHTEENDIGNITY & SIMPLICITY

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PAGE NINETEENMANUALS 2, 3 & 4

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PAGE TWENTY:  AT HOME (GRANADA THEATRES)
& ABROAD (AUSTRALIA)

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PAGE TWENTY-ONE:

THE ONLY CHRISTIE THEATRE ORGAN IN DENMARK

This piece was written in co-operation with Mr. Anton Stormlund

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PAGE TWENTY-TWO:
THE CHRISTIE THEATRE ORGAN IN PARIS

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PAGE TWENTY-THREE:
THE CHRISTIE THEATRE ORGAN OF
THE REGAL MARBLE ARCH

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PAGE TWENTY-FOURTHE HORWORTH CHRISTIE THEATRE ORGAN

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PAGE TWENTY-FIVETHE HORWORTH CHRISTIE THEATRE ORGAN:
PHOTO GALLERY

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PAGE TWENTY-SIXTHE CHRISTIE THEATRE ORGAN OF
THE ODEON THEATRE KENSINGTON

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PAGES TWENTY-SEVEN
TO FORTY:

THE COMPTON THEATRE ORGAN

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PAGE FORTY:
THE COMPTON THEATRE ORGAN
THE ABC CINEMA PLYMOUTH

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PAGES FORTY-ONE
TO FORTY-THREE:

THE CONACHER THEATRE ORGAN

Peter Conacher of Huddersfield produced nine Theatre Organs and seven were installed in cinemas of the County Cinemas Circuit while the remaining two went to the Philpot Circuit in Coventry.

These pages were written by Mr. Paul Bland.

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PAGE FORTY-ONE:
THE CONACHER THEATRE ORGAN
INTRODUCTION

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PAGE FORTY-TWO:
THE CONACHER THEATRE ORGAN
THE NINE CONACHER ORGANS

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PAGE FORTY-THREE:
FROM COVENTRY TO NORTHAMPTON:
THE STORY OF THE NORTHAMPTON CONACHER THEATRE ORGAN

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PAGES FORTY-FOUR
TO FORTY-EIGHT :

THE BLACKPOOL THEATRE ORGANS

4 thoughts on “THE THEATRE ORGAN – HOME PAGE

  1. Anthony Kalberg

    Charles, Thank you for this great, informative article about theater organs. It made me think about our old church organ in the First Baptist Church of Gulfport, Mississippi. Our second sanctuary was build around 1915 and featured grand stained glass windows and a vast stained glass dome. Well, the church father’s spent a bit more money than was budgeted, so when it came time to purchase a church organ, to save money, the church father’s decided to buy an old theater organ from a local movie house that was going out of business. The organ was installed and continued to be played until our new sanctuary was built in the late 60s. As a kid, it was fun listening to our church organist play a hymn and augment it with bird chirps, bells, gongs, and other similar sound effects. These, of course, harkened back to the days when the old organ accompanied silent movies. When our new sanctuary was built, a huge Wicks pipe organ was installed at great expense. We had a new church organist by that time who could make the new organ sing. My favorite piece was Widor’s Toccata from his 5th Organ Symphony. That uplifting toccata was one of the last played on the great Wicks pipe organ before our sanctuary was destroyed by Katrina in 2005. By the time our new church was built, owing to changes in church worship, the church father’s decided a church organ was not needed. But to this good day, when I hear Widor’s Toccata, I can close my eyes and remember its majesty thundering out the pipes of that magnificent Wicks pipe organ in the sanctuary of Gulfport’s First Baptist Church. Kind regards, Anthony

    Reply
  2. Rikki Caine, B.mus., A.C.C.S.

    A most interesting site bringing back many memories. I played the organ in the East Ham Granada when Bryan Rodwell left and went to another theatre. I lived in East Ham until 1969. I now write music for TV commercials and documentary films. I am a member of the BMHS and have two organ record out one of which has sold just over 7000 units. I always give a copy to Geoff Bowden our “Esteemed Editor” and we talk frequently on the phone.
    Did you (or do you) live in East Ham as you said you were from the east end.
    Thanks for a great website. God bless. Rikki.
    PS. I am now practically blind (vision only about 3 metres).

    Reply

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